North Carolina Joins Fight Against Offshore Drilling

WASHINGTON – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper today said he will oppose the Trump administration’s moves—and efforts by GOP leaders—to open up large swaths of America’s coastlines to oil and gas leasing.

The following is a statement by Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“Governor Cooper echoes the voices of more than a hundred coastal communities:  The American people own these waters, and they’re off limits to oil and gas drilling. 

“We must not sacrifice our oceans and our coastal economies to industrial pollution and the threat of a BP-style disaster.  These waters are protected, and Americans want them to stay that way.  We’ll fight any attempt to sell out our children’s future for big oil and gas.”


Last year, the Department of Interior excluded the Atlantic and Arctic oceans from its five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing.  In addition, President Obama took action last December to permanently protect the vast majority of the Arctic Ocean and 31 Atlantic deep sea canyons from any future drilling.

Those actions came partly in response to a national groundswell of opposition from communities, businesses, fishing groups and citizens.  For example, as of last month, opposition along the Atlantic had grown to 126 East Coast municipalities and more than 1,200 local, state and federal elected officials formally opposing offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting to prospect for oil and gas.

For more details, see this latest blog by Senior Oceans Advocate Alexandra Adams:

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.